Les Parfums de Rosine Rose des Neiges ~ fragrance review

Les Parfums de Rosine Rose des Neiges

Les Parfums de Rosine has been one of my favorite niche perfume houses for the past decade, so I always look forward to trying its newest releases. This fall, Rosine has launched Rose des Neiges, “a modern interpretation of a powdery rose” inspired by the image of an unexpected late-autumn snowfall that frosts all the flowers in a rose garden. Rose des Neiges was developed by perfumer Nicholas Bonneville and includes top notes of mandarin, pink pepper, lychee and watermelon; heart notes of rose and white violet; and base notes of sandalwood, ambroxan, heliotrope and musks.

“Powdery” is an understatement here…

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Penhaligon’s Portraits The Revenge of Lady Blanche & The Coveted Duchess Rose ~ fragrance reviews

Penhaligon's Portraits brand visual

Penhaligon’s big fall launch is a quartet of fragrances called Portraits: Chapter 1. Two of them are feminine scents, two are masculine, and they’ve been given names and characters that evoke British mystery novels and period soap operas like “Upstairs, Downstairs.” Penhaligon’s tells us that the Portraits collection captures the brand’s “ultimately British, slightly eccentric, traditional, adventurous and aristocratic character.”

Yesterday Kevin reviewed the two “men” of the group, The Tragedy of Lord George and Much Ado About the Duke, and in another “his-and-hers” follow-up, I’m here to cover the women…

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Ciro Danger ~ fragrance review

Two vintage adverts for Ciro Danger

Perfume lovers seem to fall into one of two camps about vintage fragrances. Either they seek them out, eager to try many iterations of their favorites; or they avoid them, fearing that they’ll fall in love with a perfume they’ll never smell again. I fall into the “better to have loved and lost than never loved at all” camp. Usually, that’s fine. I mean, there’s always another good perfume coming along, right? But when my 1.25 dram bottle of Parfums Ciro Danger extrait runs out, my heart will break.

Danger, released in 1938, is a rich, dark rose with an animalic edge. I have to wonder if it was inspired by Schiaparelli Shocking, released the year before. The big difference is that Danger’s rose is balanced by helpings of cinnamon and lavender. The result is seductive and romantic, but intriguingly odd…

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Galop d’Hermes ~ perfume review

Galop d'Hermès brand image

It would not really be accurate to say I was worried about what perfumer Christine Nagel would do when she took over as house perfumer at Hermès. Plenty of other things keep me up at night, but not that. But certainly I wondered if Hermès would continue to take the bulk of my perfume-spending dollars, or if I’d have to find a new BFF brand to empty my wallet every so often. What I think of as the transitional fragrance duo — Eau de Rhubarbe Écarlate and Eau de Néroli Doré — that marked the passing of the baton from perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena,1 added to the uncertainty, given that I lost interest in Nagel’s Rhubarbe Écarlate within 30 minutes but fairly quickly bought a small bottle of Ellena’s Néroli Doré (and I’m still sorely tempted by the matching body products).

But perhaps I was too quick to judge. Nagel’s first pillar outing, Galop d’Hermès, is darned good, and while it makes its own way, it also eases comfortably into the brand’s existing line up…

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Elizabeth and James Nirvana Rose & Nirvana Bourbon ~ fragrance reviews

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Rose & Nirvana Bourbon

A few years back, I was enjoying cocktails with friends at an upscale, old-school hotel bar on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and I saw one of the “Olsen twins” seated nearby with two older male companions in suits. I was intrigued by the sight of this former child star evolved into a successful entrepreneur, this waif who swathed herself in layers of urban-bohemian black clothing for a meeting with two executive-looking men in such a traditional setting. Her eyeliner was generously applied, yet her demeanor was serious, even somber. It was an interesting set of contrasts.

I’m having a similar response to Nirvana Rose and Nirvana Bourbon, the two new fragrances from Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s Elizabeth and James brand. I liked Nirvana Black and Nirvana White, both launched in late 2013 (and followed by matching roll-ons, perfume oil, solid perfume compacts, body oil and dry shampoo), so I was curious about these latest offerings. I’m happy to report that Rose and Bourbon are two more smart fragrances that straddle the line between “grown-up” and “free-spirited”…

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